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It’s finally time to return to Bedford Falls

4 mins read

By LEE SCOTT

Bedford Falls is a little town I get to revisit every year around this time. It is one of those places where all the town’s people are familiar.

There is George Bailey, the local Savings and Loan Manager, his wife Mary and their four children.

They live in one of those old Victorian houses. There is Bert, the local cop in town, and Ernie, the taxicab driver. The town seems to reappear, like Brigadoon, and once again, I am immersed in the movie classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

It is a compliment to the original movie, that other producers have tried to recreate it. Marlo Thomas played the lead role in the modern version called “It Happened one Christmas.”

Yet that made-for-tv movie never captured the angst expressed on George Bailey’s face (Jimmy Steward) when his wife Mary (Donna Reed) did not know him.

“Mary, don’t you know me?”

There are other Christmas shows where an angel appears to the main character and reveals to them what their life could have been. “The Family Man” with Nicholas Cage portrays a wealthy investment banker who becomes a tire salesman, with a wife and two precious kids, in his other life. It is the life that could have been.

The Hallmark Channel has also jumped on the bandwagon with a new Christmas movie every year, where the Angel shows up to reveal the characters alternate life. Hallmark also ends many of their shows with the snow falling. It is a tribute to when George Bailey, standing there on the bridge praying, “Please God, let me live” and he realizes it is snowing and his lip is bleeding. That scene is engraved in my brain as George’s disparity turns into hope and joy.

Even Jim Henson’s “The Muppets” has two characters named Bert and Ernie. It is said that it was not intentional, and yet, one must wonder if there was some subliminal message to him that brought those two Muppets to life.

There are lots of other Christmas shows on television now and many more streaming on various services. The classic Christmas shows like “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer, and multiple versions of “A Christmas Carol” all fill the airways.

Then there are the movie classics like “The Bishop’s Wife,” “A White Christmas,” and “Miracle on 34th Street” that are fun to watch during the Christmas season.

But none of them capture the spirit of the holidays like “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Yes, there are lots of other popular shows, but to me, it is not Christmas until I see Zu-Zu’s petals and know that Clarence is getting his wings. It is time to return to Bedford Falls.

Lee Scott, a writer and recent retiree, shares her everyday observations about life after career. A former commercial banker responsible for helping her clients to reach their business objectives, Scott now translates those analytical skills to her writings. She lives on St. Helena Island and enjoys boating, traveling and reading.

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